Artificial intelligence beyond the superpowers

Artificial Intelligence
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By Itai Barsade (@ItaiBarsade) and Michael C. Horowitz (@mchorowitz) | Perry World House

Much of the debate over how artificial intelligence (AI) will affect geopolitics focuses on the emerging arms race between Washington and Beijing, as well as investments by major military powers like Russia. And to be sure, breakthroughs are happening at a rapid pace in the United States and China. But while an arms race between superpowers is riveting, AI development outside of the major powers, even where advances are less pronounced, could also have a profound impact on our world. The way smaller countries choose to use and invest in AI will affect their own power and status in the international system.

Middle powers—countries like Australia, France, Singapore, and South Korea—are generally prosperous and technologically advanced, with small-to-medium-sized populations. In the language of economics, they usually possess more capital than labor. Their domestic investments in AI have the potential to, at a

minimum, enhance their economic positions as global demand grows for technologies enabled by machine learning, such as rapid image recognition or self-driving vehicles. But since the underlying science of AI is dual-use—applicable to both peaceful and military purposes—these investments could also have consequences for a country’s defense capabilities.

For example, a sensing algorithm that allows a drone to detect obstacles could be designed for package delivery, but modified to help with battlefield surveillance. An algorithm that detects anomalies from large data sets could help both commercial airlines and militaries schedule maintenance before critical plane parts fail. Similarly, robotic swarming principles that enable machines to coordinate on a specific task could allow for advanced nanorobotic medical procedures as well as combat maneuvers. Military applications will have special requirements, of course, including tough

protections against hacking and stronger encryption. Yet because the potential for dual-use application exists at the applied science level, middle powers with strong economies but limited defense budgets could benefit militarily from AI investments in the commercial sector.

Middle-power investments and policy choices regarding AI will determine how all this plays out. Currently, many of these medium-sized countries are investing in AI applications to bolster their economies and improve their ability to provide for their own security. While AI will not transform middle powers into military superpowers, it could help them achieve existing security goals. Middle powers also have an important role to play in shaping global norms regarding how countries and people around the world think about the appropriateness of using AI for military purposes.

The other governments investing in AI. Currently, many middle powers are leveraging their private sectors to advance AI capabilities. “AI,” in this context, means the use of computing power to conduct activities that previously required human intelligence. More specifically, most countries are focusing on narrow applications of AI, such as using algorithms to conduct discrete tasks, rather than pursuing artificial general intelligence. (Advances in artificial general intelligence will likely require computing power well beyond the capabilities of most companies and states.) Even though it would be difficult to match the degree of invention taking place in the United States and China,

given the massive investment necessary to generate the computational power for the most complex algorithms, many countries believe that incremental advances in narrowly focused AI, based on publicly available information, could prove very useful.

In France, for example, the government is embarking on a broad-ranging new effort to cultivate AI. It is investing $1.85 billion (USD) in the technology, and also aggregating data sets for developers to use. Many AI technologies use algorithms that must “train” against large amounts of information in order to learn and become intelligent, which is why compiling such data sets is particularly important. In addition to these efforts, France is attracting private-sector investment in research centers across the country, and other nations are following closely behind. In the United Kingdom, the government announced a public-private partnership that will infuse $1.4 billion into AI-related development. In Australia, the government recently released a roadmap for developing AI.

Even small but economically and technologically advanced states, such as Singapore, are articulating national strategies to develop AI. These countries, which could never hope to compete with the total research and development spending of large countries like China, are investing in AI directly and attracting investment from the private sector. “AI Singapore” is a $110 million effort to ignite growth in the field. While that level of government funding is modest compared to some national and corporate investments, Singapore uses its business-friendly investment climate and established research clusters to attract companies that want to further their own R&D efforts. One such company is the Chinese tech and e-commerce giant Alibaba, which recently set up its first research center outside of China in Singapore.

In turn, these countries will apply AI to their own security needs. For example, as a center of global trade and the world’s second-busiest port, Singapore will seek advances in AI that boost port security and efficiency. With a population of around 5.6 million, Singapore might also be more likely than a country with a large labor pool to use AI to substitute for some military occupational specialities, for example in logistics. In Israel, a small country long vaunted for its well-developed high-tech sector and its ability to attract private investment, the military already uses predictive analytics to aid decision-making. In addition, the Israel Defense Forces employ software that predicts rocket launches from Gaza, and it began deploying an automated vehicle to patrol the border in 2016.

Middle powers shape global norms. In Europe, some governments have tied their AI investments to broader moral concerns. For example, France’s declared national strategy on AI says that the technology should be developed with respect for data privacy and transparency. For France, it is important not just to develop AI but to shape the broader ethics surrounding the technology.

Other nations in Europe are following closely behind. In Great Britain, a 2017 parliamentary committee report called for the nation to “lead the way on ethical AI.” The report specifically focused on data rights, privacy, and using AI as a force for “common good and the benefit of humanity.” In Brussels, European Union members furthered this vision, signing the “Declaration of Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence” in April 2018. This agreement is designed to promote European competitiveness on AI and facilitate collaboration on “dealing with social, economic, ethical, and legal questions.”These governments believe it is impossible to influence the global debate on AI unless they also participate in its development.

By shaping norms, these nations also can influence some military applications of AI. Middle powers have often been mediators in international discussions about military technologies. Countries such as France, Norway, and Canada can play a critical role in shaping the conversation about military applications of AI, due to their significant role in international institutions like the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, a UN agreement under which states party currently hold yearly discussions about lethal autonomous weapon systems.

Private sector progress. Beyond government and military spending, another major factor will influence how AI affects the future global order: The actions of large, profit-driven multinational firms whose investment far outstrips that by most governments.The  McKinsey Global Institute estimates that the world’s biggest tech firms—like Apple and Google—spent between $20 billion and $30 billion on AI in 2016 alone. These companies also possess the rich data ecosystems and human talent required for AI breakthroughs. Furthermore, these firms have the power to transfer knowledge and know-how by placing research centers in particular locations, thus making the private sector a potential kingmaker in picking which countries are the winners and losers of the AI revolution.

Because of the technology’s dual-use potential, private sector behavior will have an impact on international security, but how great an impact is an open question. It depends on the transferability of AI breakthroughs.There is no such thing as a seamless translation of technology. Machine learning algorithms learn to identify patterns and make predictions from datasets, without being explicitly pre-programmed, but data always comes from specific contexts. So for instance, a self-driving algorithm that works on the US road system might not suit the needs of a battlefield, which may be strewn with variables such as broken or non-existent roads, improvised explosive devices, and enemy fighters.

Even if an AI-related advance has only a commercial benefit, though, it will give the host country an economic boost. If it is transferable to military use, the country will further benefit. Either way, government investment in narrow AI plus the ability to attract private investment in the sector could reduce smaller nations’ dependence on larger powers, enabling them to pursue their national interests more effectively. As nations like the United States and China continue to outspend the rest of the world on defense, this area of technology suggests a path for middle powers to influence the future economic and security landscape of the globe.

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Making way for new levels of American innovation

Innovation, Business
Image credit: Ron Miller

By Matt Weinberg | Tech Crunch

New fifth-generation “5G” network technology will equip the United States with a superior wireless platform, unlocking transformative economic potential. However, 5G’s success is contingent on modernizing outdated policy frameworks that dictate infrastructure overhauls and establishing the proper balance of public-private partnerships to encourage investment and deployment.

Most people have heard by now of the coming 5G revolution. Compared to 4G, this next-generation technology will deliver near-instantaneous connection speed, significantly lower latency — meaning near-zero buffer times — and increased connectivity capacity to allow billions of devices and applications to come online and communicate simultaneously and seamlessly.

While 5G is often discussed in future tense, the reality is it’s already here. Its capabilities were displayed earlier this year at the Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where Samsung and Intel showcased a 5G enabled virtual reality (VR) broadcasting experience to event-goers. In addition, multiple U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, have announced commercial deployments in select markets by the end of 2018, while chipmaker Qualcomm unveiled last month its new 5G millimeter-wave module that outfits smartphones with 5G compatibility.

While this commitment from 5G commercial developers is promising, long-term success of 5G is ultimately dependent on addressing two key issues.

The first step is ensuring the right policies are established at the federal, state and municipal levels in the U.S. that will allow the buildout of needed infrastructure, namely “small cells.” This equipment is designed to fit on streetlights, lampposts and buildings. You may not even notice them as you walk by, but they are critical to adding capacity to the network and transmitting wireless activity quickly and reliably. 

In many communities across the U.S., 20th century infrastructure policies are slowing the emergence of bringing next-generation networks and technologies online. Issues, including costs per small cell attachment, permitting around public rights-of-way and deadlines on application reviews, are all less-than-exciting topics of conversation but act as real threats to achieving timely implementation of 5G according to recent research from Accenture and the 5G Americas organization.

Policymakers can mitigate these setbacks by taking inventory of their own policy frameworks and, where needed, streamlining and modernizing processes. For instance, current small cell permit applications can take upwards of 18 to 24 months to advance through the approval process as a result of needed buy-in from many local commissions, city councils, etc. That’s an incredible amount of time for a community to wait around and ultimately fall behind on next-generation access. As a result, policymakers are beginning to act. 

Thirteen states, including Florida, Ohio and Texas, have already passed bills alleviating some of the local infrastructure hurdles accompanying increased broadband network deployment, including delays and pricing. Additionally, this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has moved on multiple orders that look to remedy current 5G roadblocks, including opening up commercial access to more amounts of needed high-, mid- and low-band spectrum.

The second step is identifying areas in which public and private entities can partner to drive needed capital and resources toward 5G initiatives. These types of collaborations were first made popular in Europe, where we continue to see significant advancement of infrastructure initiatives through combined public-private planning, including the European Commission and European ICT industry’s 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership (5G PPP).

The U.S. is increasing its own public-private levels of planning. In 2015, the Obama administration’s Department of Transportation launched its successful “Smart City Challenge” encouraging planning and funding in U.S. cities around advanced connectivity. More recently, the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded New York City a $22.5 million grant through its Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) initiative to create and deploy the first of a series of wireless research hubs focused on 5G-related breakthroughs, including high-bandwidth and low-latency data transmission, millimeter wave spectrum, next-generation mobile network architecture and edge cloud computing integration.

While these efforts should be applauded, it’s important to remember they are merely initial steps. A recent study conducted by CTIA, a leading trade association for the wireless industry, found that the United States remains behind both China and South Korea in 5G development. If other countries beat the U.S. to the punch, which some anticipate is already happening, companies and sectors that require ubiquitous, fast and seamless connection — like autonomous transportation, for example — could migrate, develop and evolve abroad, casting lasting negative impact on U.S. innovation. 

The potential economic gains are also significant. A 2017 Accenture report predicts an additional $275 billion in infrastructure investments from the private sector, resulting in up to 3 million new jobs and a gross domestic product (GDP) increase of $500 billion. That’s just on the infrastructure side alone. On the global scale, we could see as much as $12 trillion in additional economic activity according to discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January.

Former President John F. Kennedy once said, “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” When it comes to America’s technology evolution, this quote holds especially true. Our nation has led the digital revolution for decades. Now with 5G, we have the opportunity to unlock an entirely new level of innovation that will make our communities safer, more inclusive and more prosperous for all.


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Peek Inside St. Ed’s Joseph & Helen Lowe Institute for Innovation

Innovation, Education, Technology
Image source: Rick Uldricks

By Chris Mosby, Patch Staff 

LAKEWOOD, OH — One phrase has been echoing repeatedly down the hallways of St. Edward High School this summer, “Don’t let the perfect stand in the way of the good.” It’s become the rallying cry for students and teachers that want to pursue innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, and the words breathe life into the revamped and expanded Joseph & Helen Lowe Institute for Innovation.

The 28,000-square foot facility resembles a mashup of a Silicon Valley-tech startup and a contemporary shop class on steroids: open spaces, walls covered in marker-written ideas, smart boards and TVs in each classroom, 3D printers, laser cutters, a wind tunnel, space for welding, and more. It’s an incredible space, especially when considering it will be used almost exclusively by teenage boys.

Jim Kubacki, the president of St. Edward High, said he and his team studied similar Innovation spaces at Notre Dame, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, and Case Western. In many ways, the Lowe Institute is more akin to a collegiate engineering and entrepreneur complex than a high school one.

“The kids that will be the most successful, they’ll need to create something new,” Kubacki told Patch during an early tour of the new facility. He thinks students will need to utilize cross-disciplinary techniques to blend learning into something actionable and unique. The Lowe Institute will give students space to spitball ideas and then walk a concept from idea to actuality, he said.

Making Makers

The new facility will be led by Nick Kuhar, who will maintain his duties as co-lead of the St. Ed’s Film Department. He believes strongly in letting students push the curriculum of any class to new frontiers. While speaking with Patch, Kuhar unfurled anecdote after anecdote about students using their personal knowledge of technology to advance what was being taught.

“Jim [Kubacki] is always saying he doesn’t want film students, he wants filmmakers. He doesn’t want history students, he wants historians,” Kuhar said. “That permeates [St. Ed’s] culture.”

Kubacki and Kuhar both want students to be creative, sure, but they also want them to take that energy and put it toward actually making something. “Great creativity requires great discipline,” Kubacki said. “Great writers have to write a lot, for example.” By extension, great engineers need to be building a lot.

While walking the three floors of the Lowe Institute, students of different ages milled about, prepping the building for Saturday’s ribbon-cutting. Other students took part in summer robotics programs and engineering labs. Aside from their baby-faces, the students looked like budding engineers and robotics experts — they were doing.

Nick Kuhar (left), Jim Kubacki (right)


Some of the classrooms in Lowe are made of walls that are meant to be written on. Even the windows can be scribbled on with markers. “It’s like an extension of your own brain,” Kuhar said, while looking at a wall covered in notes on a Rube Goldberg machine.

Besides the labs and classrooms and 21st Century shop class areas, the Lowe Institute offers “ideation” spaces. That’s a buzz wordy way of saying “places where students can hang out and spit ball.” Those rooms are filled with chargers for cell phones and laptops, TVs, books on engineering and entrepreneurship (real, actual books…gasp!), and a variety of odd-looking, but undoubtedly comfy, chairs.

Kubacki said students won’t be allowed to have food and drink in most of the areas, but assured readers that staff wouldn’t be sticklers about that. The administration really wants students to want to hang out in the Lowe Institute.

By the looks of it, that won’t be a problem.

3D-printed artificial intelligence running at the speed of light—from object classification to optical component design

Tech, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, Machine Learning
Credit: Ozcan Lab @ UCLA
By Maxim Batalin, UCLA Ozcan Research Group

Deep learning is one of the fastest-growing machine learning methods that relies on multi-layered artificial neural networks. Traditionally, deep learning systems are implemented to be executed on a computer to digitally learn data representation and abstraction, and perform advanced tasks, comparable to or even superior than the performance of human experts. Recent successful applications of deep learning include medical image analysis, speech recognition, language translation, image classification, as well as addressing more specific tasks, such as solving inverse imaging problems.

In contrast to the traditional implementations of , in a recent article published in Science, UCLA researchers have introduced a physical mechanism to implement deep learning using an all-optical Diffractive Deep Neural Network (D2NN). This new framework results in 3D-printed structures, designed by deep learning, that were shown to successfully perform different kinds of classification and imaging tasks without the use of any power, except the input light beam. This all-optical  can perform, at the speed of light, various complex functions that computer-based neural networks can implement, and will find applications in all-optical image analysis, feature detection and object classification, also enabling new camera designs and optical components that can learn to perform unique tasks.

This research was led by Dr. Aydogan Ozcan, the Chancellor’s Professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCLA and an HHMI Professor with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The authors validated the effectiveness of this approach by creating 3D-printed diffractive networks that were successful in solving sample problems, such as the classification of the images of handwritten digits (from 0 to 9) and fashion products as well as performing the function of an imaging lens at terahertz spectrum.

“Using passive components that are fabricated  by layer, and connecting these layers to each other via light diffraction created a unique all-optical platform to perform machine learning tasks at the speed of light,” said Dr. Ozcan. By using image data, the authors designed tens of thousands of pixels at each layer that, together with the other layers, collectively perform the  the network was trained for. After its training, which is done using a computer, the design is 3D-printed or fabricated to form a stack of layers that use optical diffraction to execute the learned task.

In addition to image classification tasks that the authors have demonstrated using handwritten digits and fashion products, this diffractive neural network architecture was also used to design a multi-layered lens that operates at terahertz spectrum, creating an image of an arbitrary input object at the output of the network, without any understanding of the physical laws associated with image formation. Such a design was created using only…

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Google Glass, Artificial Intelligence, Google
Google stopped selling the consumer version of Glass, shown here, last year, amid privacy concerns. CHRIS WILLSON/ALAMY

By Tom Simonite | WIRED

Google Glass lives—and it’s getting smarter.

On Tuesday, Israeli software company Plataine demonstrated a new app for the face-mounted gadget. Aimed at manufacturing workers, it understands spoken language and offers verbal responses. Think of an Amazon Alexa for the factory floor.

Plataine’s app points to a future where Glass is enhanced with artificial intelligence, making it more functional and easy to use. With clients including GE, Boeing, and Airbus, Plataine is working to add image-recognition capabilities to its app as well.

The company showed off its Glass tech at a conference in San Francisco devoted to Google’s cloud computing business; the app from Plataine was built using AI services provided by Google’s cloud division, and with support from the search giant. Google is betting that charging other companies to tap AI technology developed for its own use can help the cloud business draw customers away from rivals Amazon and Microsoft.

Jennifer Bennett, technical director to Google Cloud’s CTO office, said that adding Google’s cloud services to Glass could help make it a revolutionary tool for workers in situations where a laptop or smartphone would be awkward. “Many of you probably remember Google Glass from the consumer days—it’s baaack,” she said, earning warm laughter, before introducing Plataine’s project. “Glass has become a really interesting technology for the enterprise.”

The session came roughly one year after Google abandoned its attempt to sell consumers on Glass and its eye-level camera and display, which proved controversial due to privacy concerns. Instead, Google relaunched the gadget as a tool for businesses called Google Glass Enterprise Edition. Pilot projects have involved Boeing workers using Glass on helicopter production lines, and doctors wearing it in the examining room.

Anat Karni, product lead at Plataine, slid on a black version of Glass Tuesday to demonstrate the app. She showed how the app could tell a worker clocking in for the day about production issues that require urgent attention, and show useful information for resolving problems on the device’s display.

A worker can also talk to Plataine’s app to get help. Karni demonstrated how a worker walking into a storeroom could say “Help me select materials.” The app would respond, verbally and on the display, with what materials would be needed and where they could be found. A worker’s actions could be instantly visible to factory bosses, synced into the software Plataine already provides customers, such as Airbus, to track production operations.

Plataine built its app by plugging Google’s voice-interface service, Dialogflow, into a chatbot-like assistant it had already built. It got support from Google, and also software contractor and Google partner Nagarro. Karni credits Google’s technology—which can understand variations in phrasing, along with terms such as “yesterday” that typically trip up chatbots—for managing a worker’s tasks and needs. “It’s so natural,” she said.

Karni told WIRED that her team is now working with Google Cloud’s AutoML service to add image-recognition capabilities to the app, so it can read barcodes and recognize tools, for example. AutoML, which emerged from Google’s AI research lab, automates some of the work of training a machine learning model. It also has become a flagship of Google’s cloud strategy. The company hopes corporate cloud services will become a major source of revenue, with Google’s expertise in machine learning and computing infrastructure helping other businesses. Diane Greene, the division’s leader, said last summer that she hoped to catch up with Amazon, far and away the market leader, by 2022.

Gillian Hayes, a professor who works on human-computer interaction at University of California at Irvine, said the Plataine project and plugging Google’s AI services into Glass play to the strengths of the controversial hardware. Hayes previously had tested the consumer version of the app as a way to help autistic people navigate social situations. “Spaces like manufacturing floors, where there’s no social norm saying it’s not OK to use this, are the spaces where I think it will do really well,” she added.

Improvements to voice interfaces and image recognition since Glass first appeared—and disappeared—could help give the device a second wind. “Image and voice recognition technology getting better will make wearable devices more functional,” Hayes said.


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Global Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market Competitive Analysis 2018: Wacom, Huion, UGEE and ViewSonic

Graphics Tablets, Digital Writing, Marketing
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By Stefen Marwa

The research report entitled Global Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market 2018 presents an in-depth and professional analysis of the Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market also defines the current market trend, size, growth rate and classification of the industry by Products Type, Application, Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Key Players, Key Regions and so on. The Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market report summarizes the global market insights that are critical drivers for the growth of the Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets sales market over the forecast period (2018-2023). This report studies Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Global market, especially in Africa, United States, UK, Germany, India, Italy, Brazil, Southeast Asia, Russia, Australia, France, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Middle East, Canada and China, top manufacturers in the global Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market, with revenue, production, price, and market share for each manufacturer, covering Huion, Samsung, Bosto, AIPTEK, ViewSonic, PenPower, Adesso, Hanwang, UGEE and Wacom.

Overview of Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market:

The Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets report begins with a market overview and moves on to cover the growth prospects of the market. Detailed segmentation analysis of the Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market is available based on manufacturers, regions, type, and applications in the report. The study also covers Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets upstream materials, equipment, downstream client survey, marketing channels, industry development trend, and proposals.

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The report focuses on the Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets in the global market, especially in Africa, United States, UK, Germany, India, Italy, Brazil, Southeast Asia, Russia, Australia, France, Korea, Japan, Mexico, Middle East, Canada and China

Type Analysis Segmentation in Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market:

1024 Level
2048 Level

Application Analysis Segmentation in Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market:

Industrial Design
Animation & Film

This Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets report also presents product specification, process, and product cost structure, etc. regions, technology, and applications separate production. Other important sectors that have been meticulously studied in the Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market report is demand and supply dynamics, import and export scenario, industry processes and cost structures and major R&D initiatives. Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets new project SWOT and PESTEL analysis, investment feasibility analysis, investment return analysis, and development trend analysis.

Questions are answered in Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market study:

➤ Which Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets application/end-user segments will perform well in the over the next few years?

➤ Which are the markets where companies should establish a presence?

➤ What are the restraints that will threaten growth rate?

➤ What are the forecast growth rates for the Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market as a whole and each segment within it?

➤ How market share changes their values by Different Manufacturing Brands?

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In this study report, the years considered to predict the Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market size are as follows:

◉ History Years of Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market Report: 2012-2017

◉ Base Year of Report: 2017

◉ Estimated Year of Report: 2018

◉ Forecast Years of Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market Report: 2018 to 2023

In general, the report estimate on the Global Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets Market volumes in Mn/Bn USD and CAGR in (%) over the forecast period 2018-2023, considering 2017 as the base year. The Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets report defines the profit generation through various sectors and explains remarkable investment methods towards the Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market. It also offers vital intuition about the Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market opportunities, an introduction of new products, Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market driving factors, restraints, geographical landscaping, as well as competitive approaches executed by the key Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market players. The Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets market study report presents particular stockholder in the industry, consist of market financiers, investors, dealers, product manufacturers and, producers.

In conclusion, it is an in-depth research report on Global Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets industry. Here, we express our thanks for the support and assistance from industry chain related technical experts and Digital Writing & Graphics Tablets marketing engineers during Research Team’s survey and interviews.

We have a too many categories research reports like Consumer Goods & Retailing, Agriculture, Food & Beverage, Food Services, Energy & Resources, Manufacturing & Construction, Chemicals & Materials, Transportation & Shipping, Biotechnology, Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, Business Services & Administration, IT & Telecom, Textiles, Automobile, Electrical & Electronic Device, Ship Manufacturing, Hotel and Tourism, Petroleum Industry, Trading Industry, Technology, Aerospace & Defense, Entertainment, etc.


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5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Impacts Marketing & ROI

Artificial Intelligence, Technology
Image Source: Shutterstock

by Naman Kapur

Throughout 2017 we saw how the enterprises have started taking Artificial Intelligence(AI) seriously, but even so, they are still yet to explore how to use it in their strategy activities and campaigns. This is eventually changing in 2018 as most of the enterprises have started taking steps to make AI a must-have in their strategy. Even a report from Gartner states that by 2020, 85% of the customer interactions will be managed without humans. This just goes to show how important AI is going to become in the coming times and those who leverage it will have a serious advantage over others.

Data Scientists and Engineers that are working on AI are pushing themselves hard to create AI systems that learn intrinsic nature, language, and emotions so that they comprehend everything and predict behaviour and possible activities. With the introduction of AI in the technology stack, marketing strategy is bound to get a strong push in multiple ways. Here are 5 ways AI will boost marketing and significantly impact ROI:

1.    Smart Searches: With the arrival of social media and intelligent search engines, consumers have become quite efficient in leveraging these tools to their benefits. They have access to vast information and it is difficult to understand their search patterns for better content optimization. This is where AI comes in-by quickly learning the search behaviour of customers, SEO and social media strategy can be improved for smart content delivery and better results. Adding to this with the arrival of voice assistants, it is imperative that voice search patterns be analyzed to understand how they affect smart searches. The more information, the easier it is to optimize content and make it available for end consumers.

2.    Intelligent Marketing: AI systems are well equipped in automatically sorting and analyzing big data coming from different sources-be it CRM, social media, customer support, offline or any data source for that matter-and are frequently being updated and improved for the marketers to compile all the information and powerful customer segmentation.

When it comes to large-scale advertising campaigns, AI can help marketers find innovative ways to optimize ad layout, content, placement, targeting and bids. This will not only result in more effective campaigns but also will reach out to people like the segment created. According to this report by Everage, 63% of marketers who participated in the survey mentioned increased conversion rates and 61% noted improved customer experiences. In addition to the marketing campaigns, AI can also suggest you to fresh content that your audience is mostly like to engage with.

3.    Automated Customer Support: The idea of human-level AI systems is becoming a reality. Enterprises have started taking a step toward making chatbots and voice assistants a part of their digital strategy. Traditional customer support will soon become obsolete as the means of communication usually includes email or telephone support for which people have to deal with the IVR system that gets on people’s nerves more often than not. Customers are now favouring brands that support automated bots for painless resolution. According to Juniper Research, Chatbots will be responsible for cost savings of over $8 billion annually by 2022, up from $20 million in 2017. Of course, it all depends on how well the bots are trained but after they are ready, expect them to extract delight out of every customer that interacts with them. Not only it will help increase customer experience but also will boost loyalty among customers.

4.    Churn Prevention: Churn of a loyal or cream customer is one of the biggest losses for any enterprise. Reason for churn can be anything-a competitor offering a better deal or service or the customer is unhappy with the brand they are already associated with. AI powered tools work on the historical data, create a predictive model and forecast churn behaviour of the customers. While those customers whose data is not enough, that is who churn quickly, are difficult to retain, the relatively old customers who have been associated with the enterprise for some time can be incentivized as soon as they smell of churn. When combined with personalized content, AI powered churn predictive model will eventually lead to better customer retention, higher customer lifetime value, and profits. In the times, when the cost of user acquisition is skyrocketing, a smart move is to invest in tools that help in retaining existing customers and maintain brand value.

5.    Smart Content Creation: Most marketers rely on content marketing when it comes to creating a demand or nurturing a prospect or enabling sales for upsell/cross-sell. However hard they may try to create buyer personas or for market research or for content that converts, it is extremely difficult to expect consistent results from each campaign. According to eMarketer, more than 60% marketers would like to leverage AI in content marketing. The usage includes predicting what consumers would like to read next, creating more accurate buyer personas, content creation and optimization according to customer preference. By 2018, Gartner predicts, 20% of all business content will be authored by machines. Adding to this, Natural Language Processing(NLP), one of the prominent AI techniques, helps content marketers to serve more relevant content to the relevant people for better results.

AI has arrived and is here to stay. Not only it is enabling marketers to convert ideas into reality but also is empowering them to connect with the customers in a way which was considered almost impossible so far. While this technology may appear to be consuming more resources or needing big investments at first, gradually when it is implemented and authorized to produce results, the ROI is going to be huge. It is safe to say that the brands with AI will clearly have a massive advantage over their competitors lacking this technology. If you would like to understand how AI can help your business with the verticalized solution and use cases, just reach out to us via this form and we will be happy to get in touch with you.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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